Ice wines, made from grapes left on the vines to freeze, combine sweetness and acidity to make a distinctive beverage. Stored properly, they increase in both complexity and value. Most experts recommend choosing Riesling ice wines for aging.



Select an area where the wines can remain undisturbed. While many oenophiles choose the traditional basement or wine cellar, an underground location is not essential. Wines do not like light, heat, noise or vibration, so pick areas away from foot traffic.

Store bottles on their sides in wine racks. Racks slant bottles so the cork remains wet, preserving the wine inside and allowing for maximum storage in minimum space. Grotto Cellars sells wine racks and kits, as does Wine Racks America and many other vendors (see Resources below).

Maintain a consistent temperature of 60 degrees F (+/- 5 degrees). Too cold and wines freeze; too hot and they transmute into vinegar. Chill individual bottles of ice wine before serving.

Tips

  • A wine can’t be called ice wine unless its grapes were harvested after freezing on the vine. Wines made from artificially frozen grapes must be sold under another name.

  • Experts recommend serving ice wine in liqueur glasses with a light dessert, such as fruit and cheese. Drink within three to five days of opening the bottle.